History

In May 2005, the Coalition was convened by Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, in order to address a rise in alcohol and other drug related school suspensions, arrests and traffic deaths among our youth.  Additionally, statistics from the CA Healthy Kids Surveys dating from 1998 to 2004, clearly showed an alarming trend that Valley children were starting to abuse harmful substances at an earlier age and much more frequently than in previous years, especially when compared to other Santa Barbara County and state-wide schools.

In August of 2007, the Coalition was awarded a Federal Drug Free Communities 5 year grant that launched a sustainable community-wide effort in preventing youth substance abuse, by working together to create a healthier community environment where youth can thrive, drug free.

Since 2007, the Coalition has made a measurable impact on the health of youth in the Valley by employing strategies that are research based and proven effective.  Implementation of these prevention strategies has helped to reduce the availability of alcohol and other drugs and has changed community policies and norms surrounding acceptability of use.  The most recent CA Healthy Kids Survey results for our valley children, grades 7th – 12th, show that significant reductions have occurred in the areas of binge drinking, drunk driving as well as past 30 day use of alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes.

In 2012,  the Coalition was again awarded another 5 year Federal Drug Free Communities grant to continue it’s prevention work and expand it’s efforts to protect our youth from drug abuse.

Coalition Mission

The Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition is a collaboration of volunteer community leaders dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing and reducing substance abuse among youth and ultimately adults. The Coalition focuses on implementing researched based best practices, policies and prevention programs.

Funding and Grantor Information

The Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition receives funding from three main sources:

Drug Free Communities Grant Program (DFC) funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)  the DFC program provides grants to local drug-free community coalitions to increase collaboration among community partners and to prevent and reduce youth substance use, concentrating on:  Alcohol, Marijuana, Tobacco and  RX Drug Abuse.

Recognizing the fundamental concept that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of strategies to address local drug problems. Coalition members conduct ongoing community assessments to prioritize efforts to prevent and reduce youth drug use. These assessments are used to plan and implement data-driven, community-wide strategies.

To learn more:   http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/grants

Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP Act) grants The STOP Act program was created to strengthen collaboration among communities, the Federal Government, and State, local and tribal governments; to enhance intergovernmental cooperation and coordination on the issue of alcohol use among youth; to serve as a catalyst for increased citizen participation and greater collaboration among all sectors and organizations of a community that first demonstrates a long-term commitment to reducing alcohol use among youth.

The four primary areas of focus are:

  1. Public awareness campaigns aimed at changing social norms and attitudes towards underage drinking
  2. Public policy advocacy to reduce youth access to alcohol
  3. Strengthening enforcement of underage drinking laws
  4. Empowering youth to not drink

Learn more at  http://www.samhsa.gov

County of Santa Barbara Alcohol Drugs and Mental Health Service (ADMHS) and the County Public Health Department continues to award the Valley Coalition with grant funds to address the issues of youth substance abuse and to encourage County collaborations with it’s prevention partners.

Learn more at http://countyofsb.org/

 

Coalition Contact Information

Mary Conway, Coalition Director
mary@syvphp.org

Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People
545 N. Alisal Road, Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 686-0295
syvphp.org

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